Voices of the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival: Sista Irie of KAZI-FM and KOOP-FM

QUESTION: What current bands / artists do you most enjoy playing on your KAZI show and why?

The Reggae Revival has brought forth a new generation of talented, high quality, social activists re-setting the standard for reggae. The Revival is now in a sustainability stage with even newer, younger artists following in their footsteps. The artists I play the most are Chronixx, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Kelissa, Jah9, Jesse Royal, Tarrus Riley, Runkus, Pentateuch Movement, Raging Fyah, Natali Rize, Kristine Alecia, Reemah and Xana Romeo (Max Romeo’s daughter).

QUESTION: Your show on KAZI is called “Conscious Party.” Tell us more about how you came up with that name.

I have now been on the air for 28 years and quite frankly, I don’t remember why I specifically chose the name except that I have always featured songs with deep meaning, edu-tainment through music and message.

QUESTION: Why are stations like KAZI so important to the local community?

Thank you for this question. First of all, KAZI is one of the few black non-profit community stations in the country. It is critically important to give under-served communities not represented by traditional media a voice. KAZI has the very best talent in the city featuring black music, representing black issues while creating a spirit of family and unity within the greater community. With our new President and his lack of respect for free speech, local radio will be THE alternative voice, where the truth can be told without the bias of corporate sponsors and hidden influences.

QUESTION: What is your favorite Bob Marley song and why?

JAH LIVE. This song epitomizes faith. Bob wrote this song shortly after hearing of the death of His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie. The story goes that Bob immediately went into the studio and wrote a song to provide guidance and hope to Rastafarians near and far. A physical death is not a spiritual death.

QUESTION: Proceeds from the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival help the Central Texas Food Bank feed hungry families in Austin and surrounding counties. Why do you think these two entities are such a good fit?

Reggae is the music of the oppressed. It is within the utsa housing move in date fall 2022and written principles to clothe the naked and feed the hungry. Reggae is not about money, but about humanity by reducing injustice and lifting the quality of life for all.

QUESTION: We’ve had two consecutive years of rain at the Austin Reggae Festival. Is it going to rain at the 2017 event?

My guess is no. Maybe a few sprinkles on Sunday. Fingers crossed!

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